By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- In a nation of over 300 million people, rare events happen.
Yesterday, another rare event happened. A person openly carrying a gun was held up at gun point and their gun was stolen. It last happened, that I know of, in Milwaukee in 2010, before the state passed their shall issue concealed carry law in 2011.
In the Oregon event, 21 year old William Coleman had just purchased a pistol the previous day, and was openly carrying it in the Portland metropolitan area, in the early morning hours. From oregonlive.com:
According to Gresham police, William Coleman III was talking to his cousin near 172nd and Glisan at about 2:10 a.m. on Saturday while openly carrying the gun he had purchased on Friday.
Coleman said a man, about 19- to 23-years-old, approached them, asking for a cigarette. Coleman said the man then inquired about Coleman's weapon, then pulled a pistol from his own waistband and said, “I like your gun. Give it to me.” Coleman handed over his new handgun and the suspect left on foot.
Yes, people who openly carry firearms are rarely robbed. So are police. A police officer was robbed of his gun and badge just a month ago, yet it did not make national news. It is unsurprising that both the police officer and the young citizen exercising his rights were robbed during the early morning hours, in urban centers. Approaching victims and using a ruse such as asking for a cigarette, is a common tactic of armed robbers.
Open carry has become more popular, with the practice legal in the vast majority of states. Only six states ban the open carry of modern handguns in public places. Most of the existing bans stem from old laws based on racial fears or by criminals intent on disarming their victims, such as in New York. The Texas ban has its origins in the reconstruction government following the Civil war.
California has been the only state to ban the practice recently, building on a ban on the open carry of loaded handguns that was enacted in response to effective Black Panther lawfare in 1967.
The Black Panthers showed up at the state capitol, armed with loaded weapons in their hands on the day of the vote. They could not have pushed harder to get the ban passed by a panicked legislature, except if they had brought contributions and weeping widows, which is what those who promote citizen disarmament do today. The Panthers claimed that they were against the law, but it is hard to believe that they were unaware of the likely outcome of their actions.
California weapons law has always been aimed at disarming minorities. It is the reason that California is one of only six states that does not have a right to keep and bear arms provision in its state constitution.
The current California ban has had its unintended consequences. It directly lead to the Peruta decision, that confirmed the right to bear arms outside of the home, for self defense. The court directly said that if you ban open carry, you must allow concealed carry. From the decision, available at this source on pdf:
See Cal. Penal Code § 26350 (prohibiting open
carry of an unloaded firearm); see also id. §§ 26150, 26155
(establishing a licensing procedure only for concealed carry).
And it has the power to do so: as the historical sources have
repeatedly noted, the state has a right to prescribe a particular
manner of carry, provided that it does not “cut off the
exercise of the right of the citizen altogether to bear arms, or,
under the color of prescribing the mode, render the right
itself useless.” Nunn, 1 Ga. at 243 (emphasis omitted).
California’s favoring concealed carry over open carry does
not offend the Constitution, so long as it allows one of the
Unicorns make great stories, but bad policies. It is part of human nature to view events as though they happened to us, and to make decisions based on that information. Selection of what events are presented to the public is a major tool of how those who control the flow of information control the debate. On the other side of the coin, events that occur all the time are not considered news. When millions of people carry openly everyday, without problems, it is not news.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.